Intestinal microbe

The intestinal microbiota of humans consists of more than 1013 to 1014 microorganisms with which our body interacts in symbiosis. Together with these bacteria, we form a so-called superorganism.

As a result of colonization of the intestinal flora, the body benefits from it. Its main function is to protect against colonization of the digestive tract by pathogens. The correct relationship between the microorganisms located shows the course of the disease. Furthermore, the correct composition of the microbiota can influence the physiological processes of the body and be a specific indicator for the diagnosis of selected disease units, such as obesity, diabetes, NAFLD, intestinal diseases.

It contributes to the fermentation of carbohydrates not digested by the human body and therefore does not pose a risk to our health. It synthesizes short-chain fatty acids (improve the immune response) and some vitamins such as biotin, K and B12. It is involved in the biotransformation of conjugated bile acids. It metabolizes some xenobiotics and participates in the breakdown of oxalates, so that our body is not threatened by toxic poisoning.

Thanks to its wide range of effects, gut microbiota has a beneficial effect on improving human metabolism, immune system and nervous system. Therefore, it is recommended to supplement probiotics, prebiotics (foods that promote the growth/replication of intestinal bacteria in the human body), microbiota colony-stimulating drugs and microorganism transplantation.

When these microorganisms cross the intestinal threshold, the inflammation process begins. Such a phenomenon can only occur if the permeability of the intestine is increased and these microorganisms reach beyond the intestinal lumen.

Intestinal microbiota – factors that influence the survival of symbiotic bacteria

  • Type of birth (natural birth increases the amount of bacteria already after birth)
  • Breastfeeding
  • Genetically related
  • active lifestyle
  • Consumption of prebiotics
  • Maternal health and microbiome
  • Fetal age
  • high supply of polyphenols in the diet


  • Eating disorders
  • Poor nutrition – highly processed products and high-fat nutrition
  • Chronic stress
  • Antibiotic therapy
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive exposure to pathogenic pathogens
  • Genetic preconditions
  • Chemotherapy
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol and other beverages
  • some of the medicines used

Studies are carried out to confirm the thesis that diet may have a particular influence on the composition of the intestinal flora. It has been observed that the modulation of intestinal microbiota is influenced by a diet rich in polysaccharides, especially by fiber. Unprocessed and fermented products are also considered beneficial.

Recent studies have also confirmed the positive effects of ω-3 acids, including eicosapentaenoic acids (EPA), which attenuate the inflammatory response in non-specific bowel diseases.

Among the colonies of intestinal microorganisms we can distinguish the following: Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Fusobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. Butyrate-producing bacteria and lactic acid bacteria are believed to positively influence the host organism through their anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and pathogenic properties.

As the body ages, the number of bacteria of the genera Lactobacillus, Fusobacterium, Clostridium and Eubacterium increases, while the number of bacteria of the genera Bacteroides and Bifidobacterium decreases.

Intestinal microbiota – disorders

Dysbiosis is the result of ulcerative colitis, the appearance of other inflammatory bowel diseases, antibiotic therapy, poor nutrition, changes in the function of the immune system (autoimmune diseases, chronic stress).

Hyperplasia of the bacterial flora (SIBO) is also a dangerous pathophysiological condition for the human body.

Treatment of dysbiosis includes the use of antibacterial and antifungal agents, appropriate pro- and prebiotic therapy or even synbiotic therapy, transplantation of faecal microbiota and phage therapy.

Intestinal bacteria and immunity

These bacteria or their metabolites penetrate the mucous membrane and stimulate the antigen presentation cells – macrogaphia and dendritic cells. In healthy people this leads to a normal immune reaction with B and T lymphocytes. This presupposes tolerance to one’s own bacterial antigens.

In people with non-specific bowel disease or ulcerative colitis, there is a continuous stimulation of the T cells, which leads to a chronic filling of the intestinal mucosa. Excited T lymphocytes increasingly produce cytokines, which are responsible for inflammation in the human body.

An overreaction of the immune system causes the natural reserves of the immune response to be depleted and the immune system is weakened and less sensitive to pathogens entering from outside the body.

Such a “sterilized” body becomes susceptible to further inflammation and other diseases, including: diabetes, allergies, cancer or even nervous system disorders.


Microbiota – totality of microorganisms (bacteria, archaones, fungi that inhabit the body)

Microbiome – a set of genes of microorganisms that inhabit the body

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